About

About

image_pdfimage_print

I live in Minnesota with my wife and our 4 teenagers. They are a wonderful blessing to me, as are the many work and community opportunities we have enjoyed together.

I enjoy a range of activities from sports with the kids, woodworking and construction, reading (especially history and biography), community service, and a very rewarding career in product development. When I was young studying mechanical engineering I had a job with a person 10-years or-so my senior who was into micro-controllers (PIC!).

I got the, “total system” bug from him. I wanted to be able to build systems from mechanics through electronics and software. I had an incredible guide and leader at school in Professor Ephraim Sparrow. He cemented in me a true respect for the analytical side of engineering: a respect for the math and the science, and not just today’s, “technology”. Tom Chase is another great teacher from whom I was introduced to numerical methods, programming, and engineering design.

I also had some great teachers in the humanities who encouraged my writing and communication skills. A couple areas I shirked in are foreign language and music. I lacked the patience and discipline for these pursuits when I was younger. I greatly respect people who applied themselves in these areas.

After the University of Minnesota I went to MIT. I had a wonderful thesis adviser in Tom Sheridan who set me loose to form, seek funding for, and complete a Masters thesis project through MGH and a Boston medical products company. Great MIT professors included David Trumper for dynamics and control systems, and Gilbert Strang in math, but I didn’t work as hard on that as I wish I would have. I love his books and I refer to them now.

This is one reason for my “blog” here: re-kindle a love for topics that I think I started to burn-out on when I was younger. I’m realizing what a gift it is to have encountered so may luminaries and acquired so many analytical tools for understanding and designing complicated systems we see every day. It is so much fun if we can avoid seeing it as, “(home)work”! We have a hard time seeing it this way when we are, “kids”.

As for work, I’ve been blessed with great experiences and great people. I’ve really enjoyed being a, “tool maker”: a person who crafts products and solutions that typically help somebody in the world do their job better, or maybe enjoy it more…at least that’s what I try to do.

As my kids grow I am less involved with coaching sports and keeping them active. We are a busy household, but I’m excited to chase some long-time interests, learn new things, and channel my coaching and teaching passion into writing and sharing.

Thank you for checking-out my, “blog”!

-Mike